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6.8 Role of ex-service organisations in psychosocial rehabilitation
DVA clients are more likely to benefit from peer-to-peer help and support than civilian rehabilitation clients. The close-knit military culture means there can be a lack of trust of ‘outsiders’, whereas rapport is often established quickly with other former ADF members.
There are dozens of ex-service organisations that can provide a sense of purpose and social connection for DVA clients, and many run health and social programs at little or no cost.
The following websites list various ex-service organisations:
- Department of Defence - ex-serving and veteran community organisations
(this site includes links to the newer organisations like Soldier On and Mates4Mates, which have a strong wellbeing focus)
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs - ex-service organisations
- Australian Army - veteran and unit associations
- Royal Australian Air Force - alumni and associations
- Naval Association of Australia – naval organisations
When considering whether engagement with an ex-service organisation may benefit a client, their individual circumstances must be taken into account. For example, where a client has expressed a desire to move on from their military past and embrace new experiences, engagement with an ex-service organisation may not be appropriate.